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Kadira tucked her braids under her headwrap for the fifth time, holding back a vile curse. The vendor before the poultry cart waited patiently, for he was used to the worries women suffered with their fashions. Kadira, however, was annoyed beyond concentration. She was tempted to tear off her head wrap and shave herself bald on the spot. She should have never let Nguvu talk her into this silly hair style. She was a warrior, not a trollop.
"What can I do for you, sister?" the vendor asked.
Kadira placed her hand on her wide hips as she concentrated on the various types of edible birds hanging from the wagon. It there was one thing about Sati-Baa market it was food was never in short supply. The farmers of Kenja kept it well stocked, especially since their new formed militia succeeded in deterring the once frequent slave raids. The rumor was that a female priest organized the militia, a woman trained by the Dogon to heal and to fight. A rivulet of adrenaline coursed through her sword arm and she bit her lip. Those days were done now. She was a wife and a mother now. Best she concentrate on the job at hand, which was buying food for her huge, greedy husband and their growing greedy child.
"I can't believe what I'm seeing!"
Kadira grinned then turned. Omari Ket stood with his arms folded across his chest, his head tilted. He was draped in armor and weapons that told of journeys throughout Ki Khanga, an outfit appropriate for a journeyman weaponeer. Kadira struck a similar pose.
"Believe it, Snake," she answered.
Omari held his arms open and she hugged him. She smiled until one of his hands found her backside. A quick jab to the stomach sent hem stumbling backward.
"None of that," she said. "I'm a married woman now."
"Two shocks in one day!" Omari exclaimed.
Omari assumed his skeptical stance again. "Whose the lucky man?"
Omari's face twisted. "I don't know him."
"You shouldn't. I met him long after you and I parted ways."
A wistful look came to Omari's face and Kadira felt embarrassed.
"So what brings you to Sati-Baa?"
"Money, what else," Omari replied. "I thought that's why you were here."